On Thursday 22nd June a special Commissioning Service was held at Durham Cathedral at which four of our Authorised Pastoral Assistants (APAs) were recommissioned. It was an opportunity to celebrate the often unseen work of our vital Pastoral Team here at St Michael’s in visiting those in our community with a variety of needs.
Thelma, Jacqui, Elaine and Evelyn have been serving as APAs for five years already and at this service re-dedicated themselves to continue in this ministry. Bishop Mark prayed this prayer after recommissioning the APAs:
Give to your servants the gifts of faith, hope and love, that they may execute the office of pastoral assistant to your praise and honour. May their hands be ready to do your work. May their eyes be open to recognise those in need. May their ears hear words of pain or sorrow. May their voices speak of healing and peace. As we welcome their ministry among us, may we support them and love them. Bless them with your presence and protection in all that they do; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pastoral care is at the heart of our ministry at St Michael’s and we are very blessed to have such a wonderful team and are delighted that they are willing to continue in their role here in Houghton-le-Spring. Please do pray for them and also for yourself. Might God be calling you to serve in a new way in the church? If you’re feeling a ‘nudge’ do speak to one of our APAs or to a member of the clergy.
“Ministry is the responsibility of the whole people of God. We are all ministers! Trained and equipped pastoral ministry is an invaluable part of this whole ministry of the whole church” – The Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham